This weekend, our sweet Rita Lucile (known affectionately as Rita Lu) was Baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Which means that she got wiped free from Original Sin, and I got to spend the weekend sniffing the holy baby head.
Saturday afternoon, our family and a few close friends came together to watch our girl officially get de-heathenated.
My beautiful friend, Heather Renshaw (writer, blogger, amazing human being) flew in from the Pacific Northwest to be Rita’s godmother, and our eldest son stood as godfather.
The water might have been a little bit colder than Rita would have preferred. We told her that it’s never easy letting go of sin. I’m not sure she was all that impressed with our reasoning.
She’s the first of our babies to cry when being Baptized. We’ve had them be stunned, indifferent, or sleeping when the blessed water was poured on them; but Rita Lu was the first to screech in protest. Our normally easy-going girl sure was fast in letting us know she wasn’t happy at all.
It didn’t take long for her to settle back down. A little bit to eat, the heavenly smell of chrism oil, and some reassurance from Mom soon had her back to her own happy self.
It was a little strange to welcome our girl into the Church without the hoopla and fanfare that came naturally in Oklahoma when we were surrounded by family, but strange isn’t always bad.
While we may not have had a crowd of relatives, we did have a few close friends who joined us. Our friends aren’t even Catholic, but they love us so they showed up to celebrate our daughter with us. Thrilled to have been asked to share in our special occasion.
After the Baptism, we spent some time explaining the inside of our church to our friends who had never been in one before. They asked about the Stations of the Cross, what the altar was made from, and why there was a tabernacle. It was one of the best gifts we got that day, the chance to share what we believe with some of the people we like and love.
In the almost week that has followed, one of them has continued asking questions. I don’t think she has any interest in converting, but is seeking a deeper understanding of the theology and traditions of being Catholic.
It’s been a great lesson for all of us. We tend to be very private people despite my years of blogging, but maybe we shouldn’t be quite so much. We invited the people we never thought would come, those from other faiths and no faith, and felt almost like we were imposing on them when we did. Their saying yes gave us the chance to share something we know to be both beautiful and true, to evangelize painlessly to those around us. And we were reminded once again that we are supposed to be a reflection of God’s welcome and love, and not hide our lights from the world around us.
Candles out! We are called to enlighten the world and Baptize all peoples. That has to start with the people who are the very closest too us.
photos by Desiree Chapman and used with permission. All rights reserved
Return to The Catholic Conspiracy